The Facebook news feed is changing. One thing that’s for sure is that the change will apply to all, whether it’s a personal profile or a business page. But the recent changes will have the biggest impact on professional pages.
Big changes to the algorithms will be rolled out over the next few months and will affect news feed rankings. Mark Zuckerberg made this announcement back in January, with the focus being more on friends and family and the intention to make people feel good about Facebook again.
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook will show less of certain posts in the news feed:
- Links to external pages such as blogs and websites
- Posts from professional pages
- Scheduling posts will become more focused towards your ‘see first’ followers.
This means less visibility of content posted from professional pages, businesses, and brands. And more content from your connections. Specifically, content that encourages more meaningful interactions between friends and family will be prioritised in your news feed.
How Will The Changes Affect Small Businesses?
You’ll start to see less video and posts from professional pages, and more from friends, family, and groups. This will mean a decline in reach for some pages.
Popular news articles and posts that spark conversation, such as recommendations, will be visible first. Crucially, longer comments will rank higher than short comments and likes. So a simple like or tag will no longer cut it.
So How Can Small Businesses Prepare For The Changes?
Start putting a plan in place now, and avoid being caught out. Forewarned is forearmed!
- Rethink frequency of posts – less is more.
- Get people to interact with each other – more engaging, quality content.
- Encourage your audience to prioritise your content in their news feed – with the See First feature.
- Use Facebook Live videos to interact with followers and page fans – use incentives to encourage people to watch and comment on live videos/chats.
- Learn how to utilise storytelling within videos and content.
- Don’t use engagement bait – asking outright for likes, shares, and comments will be penalised (meaning it won’t be visible in news feeds).
- Consider Facebook ads – more paid ads that spur engagement will guarantee visibility.
- Utilize Messenger chatbots – automated and instant messaging.
Accept the inevitable. And adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
Posts that spark conversation and person-to-person interaction will rank higher.
Use informative and relevant content your followers want to see and are more likely to comment on and share amongst their friends.
Encourage your followers to use the ‘See First’ feature to guarantee that your posts will be prioritized on their news feed. Note: you can only select up to 30 people or pages to prioritise and there is no hierarchy.
Facebook Ads make it easier to get your content in front of the right people and guarantee visibility. Ads are not affected by the coming changes so with less clutter in people’s feeds, this may be a way to really stand out.
I hope this is useful for your small business. Follow Bowler Hat on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus for help marketing your small business. And if you have any questions, please drop a comment below or get in touch.